How Do I Know If I Have Whiplash?

Have you been in a car accident recently? Or another incident where your head has snapped forward or backward? If so, it’s possible that you may be experiencing pain or stiffness in your head, neck, or shoulders. The chances are that you may have whiplash, but how can you know for sure? This article will help you figure out if you are one of the many people who suffer a whiplash injury in Jacksonville every year.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the patient’s head is snapped backward or forward very rapidly. The injury occurs when the ligaments, nerves, muscles, and/or discs in the neck are damaged or moved out of place. The most common cause of whiplash injury in Jacksonville is motor vehicle accidents, but it can also be caused by sports injuries, excessive shaking, or being hit.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of whiplash vary between sufferers, but the most common issues that arise include pain in the neck and shoulders, stiffness and decreased ability to move, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain and spasms, and memory loss. These symptoms may be apparent straight after the injury occurs, or they may not begin to show up for several days after the initial injury.

How Long Does the Pain Last?

It is difficult to judge how long the effects of a whiplash injury will last. For many people, the neck pain, headaches, and other issues disappear within a period of a few days to three months. Some victims, however, still experience persistent neck pain for more than a year after the initial injury. This is more likely to happen to patients who suffer severe pain immediately and have memory problems following the accident.

What Are the Treatment Options?

In the immediate aftermath of the injury, it is recommended that you apply heat to the affected area, as that will help to relax and loosen the affected muscles. Applying ice or another cold treatment could possibly make the injury worse. Should pain persist, it is recommended that you visit a doctor, who will be able to provide a full diagnosis. There is a range of treatments available for whiplash injury in the Jacksonville area. Your doctor may give you anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers in order to improve your range of motion. They may also recommend treatment such as massage or chiropractic in addition to medication.

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